J. Philip Pattie
1935 ~ 2022
Captain James Philip ‘Phil’ Pattie, age 86, passed away October 5, 2022, in Mesa, AZ. Phil was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, on November 7, 1935, the son of James Warren Pattie and Helen Ruth Wilkinson Pattie. His end of life came quickly, he attended a concert on Saturday and died the following Wednesday - succumbing to prostate cancer.
Phil attended Marshalltown (Iowa) High School where he played basketball. He spent a year at the local community college and then was off to the University of Iowa where he studied Political Science and was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity. After graduation entered the USN Officer Candidate School. In December 1958 he was commissioned ansEnsign in the Navy Reserve followed by an assignment to Naval Aviation Orientation Courses at NAS Jacksonville, FL. Phil was assigned to Patrol Squadron 45 (VP-45) at USN Operating Base on Bermuda as a navigator. This squadron operated the P5M Marlin seaplane from Bermuda’s Great Sound. This assignment was followed by duty with Patrol Squadron 26 (VP-26) at NAS Brunswick, Maine which was equipped with the P2V and ran almost continuous deployments to Iceland and Rota, Spain.
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Clarence L. Holter
1924 ~ 2022
NWA pilot Clarence Louis Holter age 98, passed away peacefully on October25th at The Regent of Burnsville. Clarence was born June 26, 1924, in Minneapolis, MN. He was the only child of Louis Holter of Fetsund, Norway, and Henrikke (Hendrickson) Holter of Tromso, Norway.
When Clarence was about two years old, he moved to a 150-acre farm outside of Delano, MN, with his parents and his Uncle Anton and Aunt Jette Holter. They lived on this farm for about 10 years and moved back to Minneapolis after Clarence's mother died in February of 1936.
Clarence began working at Northwest Airlines in August of 1942 as an Apprentice Mechanic. He joined the Army Air Corp. in May of 1943 and went to basic training at the Lincoln Army Airfield in Lincoln, Nebraska. Following basic training, he went to aircraft mechanics school at the Amarillo Army Airfield, in Amarillo TX. He then trained as a North American P-51 mechanic in Inglewood, CA. After completing his training, he was transferred to an airfield in Meridian, Mississippi, to work on P-51s. He was then transferred to Buckingham Army airfield by Fort Myers for B-24 gunnery school. While stationed at Buckingham, he became sick with pneumonia. The class he was training with was activated and went over to England while he was in the hospital. After recovering from pneumonia, the Army Air Corp was looking for A-26 gunners, so he was transferred to Florence, SC, for that training. Just as he was finishing training, the war ended.
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Vernon C. Feeback
1941 ~ 2022
Captain Vernon Feeback, age 81, died July 12, 2022, some 29 days after suffering a severe stroke. His final departure came at home with his family and beloved dog nearby.
Vern was born in Denver, Colorado March 09, 1941, to Charles and Helen Feeback. He had one sibling, a brother Larry. Since age five Vern lived near Wiggins, CO. He was an excellent high school student, graduating #3 in his class. Vern had cross discipline talents, e.g., he played football on his high school team and also held a chair as a trumpet player in the band. When not involved in high school activities Vern worked at a local grocery store.
Vern’s interest in aviation was sparked by a $5 demo flight given by a local Colorado crop duster. While giving due diligence to his engineering studies at the University of Colorado for three and a half years, Vern continuously dabbled in flying as his funds and time permitted. . He studied engineering for three and a half years at the U. of Colorado, all the while dabbling in flying as his funds and time permitted. For Vern acquiring the FAA CFI (Instructor) rating mattered most, it was a ticket toward an aviation career. He worked extensively as an instructor and charter pilot and even as an airport manager in Eastern Colorado before being hired by Northwest Airlines.
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Stephen A. Luckey
1940 ~ 2022
Steve was born on March 8, 1940, in Emmaus, PA, son of “Chick” and Mabel Luckey. Steve loved the woods and streams of the Pennsylvania Poconos where his father was a Forest and Wildlife ranger. At a very young age he accompanied his dad on ranger duties, once holding poachers at gunpoint while his dad disarmed the bad guys. Steve’s hunting experience in the Pocono mountains not only made Steve an expert marksman, but it also gave him survival skills that probably saved his life when scouting behind enemy lines in Vietnam. Very unique duty for a Marine A-4 Skyhawk pilot (carrier qualified) and a FAC (Forward Air Controller) in the U-10 Helio Courier.
Unique indeed. That word describes Steve the best. Many Northwest pilots started, as did Steve, on the B-727 and retired on the B747-400. However, Steve was the one and only NWA pilot that used his innate skills acquired in his formative years and his training as a Marine to make the aviation industry a safer and more secure environment.
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John Richard Erlandson
1930 ~ 2022
Captain John Richard "Dick" Erlandson, age 92, died on September 05, 2022. Dick was born February 4th, 1930, in Gary, Indiana, the second of five children. He was taught by his parents - Arnold and Helen Erlandson to put family first; that included fulfilling his chores at his father’s dairy in Miller, Indiana.
While working in the dairy it is reputed that Dick drank the cream from the top of the milk bottles. After his fulfilling chores, Dick would head east to Miller Beach, near the famed Indiana Dunes on the south shore of Lake Michigan and there tear up the beach in his brother Charlie's custom dune buggy.
As early as high school years Dick worked in the steel mills in Gary, Indiana. After high school he hitchhiked to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota for his first two years of college. Thereafter he transferred to the University of Colorado Boulder until graduating with a degree in Pharmacy.
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Wayne Gene Ward
1935 ~ 2022
Captain Wayne Ward, age 87, died unexpectedly in a Minnesota automobile accident on July 27, 2022. Wayne was born on July 3, 1935, to Leslie and Ellen Ward in Vandalia, Illinois, their only child.
With an agriculture oriented rural Illinois upbringing, Wayne knew hard farm work and early in life developed a strong work ethic. He was a good high school student and noteworthy basketball player. After high school Wayne headed south to Carbondale, IL where he earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture at Southern Illinois University (SIU). It is noteworthy that Wayne paid his own way through college by doing seasonal farm work. While enrolled at SIU Wayne participated in USAF ROTC. Upon college graduation in the spring of 1957, he was commissioned a 2/Lt. in the Air Force Reserve.
Fresh out of college, Wayne reported to Texas for USAF pilot training. He enjoyed flying jet trainers, but along the way acquired a unique interest in specialized helicopter training. After earning his USAF pilot rating Wayne reported to Stead AFB, Nevada for 70 hours of specialized helicopter training in the H-19 Sikorsky Chickasaw as well as advanced training in the Piasecki H-21 Shawnee. Thereafter Wayne flew a variety of helicopters with USAF units at McChord AFB and Scott AFB, often flying the H-21 Shawnee, the USAF workhorse. Wayne also served a tour in France, albeit his final active-duty assignment was at Scott AFB, IL. His military connection was separated but not severed.
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